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Us 33, Mccain 16, United States 14, Benghazi 13, America 12, Ms. Mikulski 10, Mr. Mccain 9, U.s. 9, Mr. Reid 8, Levin 7, Mr. Levin 7, Arkansas 7, Clinton 6, Inouye 6, Lord 6, Libya 6, Maryland 6, Smith 5, United States Senate 5, Mr. Mcconnell 5,
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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    December 21, 2012
    12:00 - 5:00pm EST  

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♪ ♪
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♪ >> the holy gospel of our lord jesus christ according to john. >> glory to you god in the highest. >> jesus says everything that the father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me i will never drive away for i have
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come down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me, and this is the will of him who sent me, that i should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. this is, indeed, the will of my father, that all who see the sun and believe in him may have eternal life, and i will raise them up on the last day. the gospel of the lord. >> praise to you lord god. >> in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit, amen. please, be seated.
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irene and family, president obama, vice president biden, i thought that senator inouye was indisruptble, and if i had not been honored to be at his bedside when he died, i still would not believe that he is gone. he was generous to the very end for he gave me the great gift of instructive closure. i was with him in alaska at senator steven's memorial service, and the president mentioned a courtly baritone. he gave one of the most amazing tributes i had ever heard.
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i made him promise that he would teach me how to speak like that. [laughter] he said modestly, "what do you mean, chaplain?" i said, "i want your elegance of diction and brilliance of metaphor. i want your poetry of imagination." he smiled and dismissed my request so i had the opportunity of reminding him at walter reid that he still had unfinished work to do with me, please, i still need your help. i was blessed to be able to hold his hand. i was blessed to be able to be able to recite the scriptture --
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scriptures, and the last passage that i recited before he transitioned from time into eternity is a passage with words that have been whispered by more people in trouble, spoken in more hospital rooms, uttered by more dying lips than perhaps any other words in scripture, the 23rd psalm. irene, you may remember. i was behind you. the lord is my shepherd, i shall not want. he makes me lie down in green pastures. he leads me besides still waters. he restores my soul. he leads me in the path of
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righteousness for his name's sake. even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil for you are with me. your rod and your staff, they comfort me. you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, and you anoint my head with oil. my cup runs over. surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and i will dwell in the house of the lord forever. the curtain was soon drawn on
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the light of this great american. i offered a prayer, and as i headed through rush hour traffic trying to get back to the capitol for a vigil that we were having for the newtown, connecticut atrocity, i kept remembering the words "even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil for you are with me." i found myself asking in the car how was it that he was able to walk so confidently through the valley of the shadows of death? i began to speculate. i thought, perhaps, he could do it because he had been in that valley before.
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i had heard the story of the silver dollar that saved his life. he had two silver dollars in his pocket. he had been in the valley of shadows before, walking through, not jogging or running, with the temperament, he could walk through. i said there has to be more than that. i continued to drive, and i thought, perhaps, he was able to walk so confidently into the valley of the shadows because he knew there was light in that valley. you can't have shadows without light. i remembered his prayer breakfast speech, only a few weeks ago, and how he talked about his faith roots, and i knew that he had illumination in
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the valley. as the dome of the senate came into view, it dawned on me why my friend was able to walk so confidently through the valley of shadows, and that was because , irene, he knew he was not alone. this was not a solo walk. even though i walk through the valley of the shadows, i will fear no evil for you are with me. the one who walked with him through that valley had promised in matthew 28:20, behold, i am with you always. he promised in hebrews 13:5, i will never leave you or foresake you. he was that light in the valley, that companion in the valley,
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and my good friend was not alone he lived the way he died with grace and dignity. when i reflect on the serenity when he transitioned from time to eternity, i think of the so live that when your summon comes to join, that imnumerable caravans where each must choose his chamber in the solemn halls of death, go thou not like the quashie slave scourged to the
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dungeon at night, but sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust. approach your grave as one who drapes about him and lies down to pleasant dreams. my dear friends, anthony had it right. your life was gentle, the elements so mixed in you that nature could stand up and say to all the world, this was a man. god bless you.
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♪ ♪ oh oh oh ♪ oh oh oh
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♪ somewhere over the rain bow ♪ way up high ♪ and a dream that you dream once in a lullabye ♪ ♪ ♪ somewhere over the rainbow ♪ bluebirds fly ♪ and the dream that you dreamed ♪ dreams really do come true ♪ oh oh ♪ someday i wish upon a star ♪ wake up where the clouds are far behind me ♪ ♪ where troubles melt like lemon
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drops high above the chimney tops ♪ ♪ that's where you'll find me ♪ oh somewhere over the rainbow ♪ bluebirds fly ♪ and the dream that you dream ♪ dreams really do come true ♪ oh oh ♪ i see trees of green ♪ and red roses too ♪ i watch them bloom for me and for you ♪ ♪ and i think to myself ♪ what a wonderful world ♪ ♪ the colors of the rainbow so
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pretty in the sky ♪ ♪ i see all the faces of people passing by ♪ ♪ i see friends shaking hands saying how do you do ♪ ♪ they are saying i love you ♪ i see babies crying ♪ i watch them grow ♪ they'll learn much more than we'll ever snow ♪ ♪ and i think to myself ♪ what a wonderful world ♪ oh oh oh ♪ oh oh oh
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♪ >> let us join our prayers with those of the church universal saying each in our own language the prayer that jesus christ has taught us. our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, they kingdom come, thy will be done as on earth as it is in heaven. give us this day our daily bread and forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass us. lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil for thine
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is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever, amen. for our brother, daniel, let us pray to our lord jesus christ who said, i am resurrection, and i am life. lord, you consoled martha and mary in their disstress, draw near to us who mourn for daniel and dry the tears of those who weep. >> hear us, lord. >> you wept at the grave of lazerus, your friend. comfort us in our sorrow. >> hear us, lord. >> you raised the dead to life. give to our brother eternal life. >> hear us, lord. >> you promised paradise to the thief who repented. bring our brother to the joys of help. >> hear us, lord. >> comfort us in our sorrows at the death of our brother, let
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our faith be our consolation and eternal life our hope. god of all, we pray to you for daniel and for all of those whom we love but see no longer. grant to them eternal rest, let light shine upon them, may his soul and the souls of all the departed through the mercy of god rest in peace. >> amen. ♪
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♪ america, america ♪ god shed his grace on thee ♪ and crown thy good with brotherhood ♪ ♪ from sea to shining sea ♪ oh beautiful for spacious skies ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> give rest, chris, your ser advancement, your saint where sorrow and pain are no more and have life everlasting. you only are immortal, the
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creator and maker of human kind, and we are mortal, formed of the earth and to earth shall we return for so did you ordain when you created me saying you are dust, and to dust you shall return. all of us go down to the dark, yet even at the grave, we make our song hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah. give rest so christ to your servant with your saint where sorrow and pain are no more neither time, but life everlasting. into your hands, oh merciful savior, we commend your servant, daniel, acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own
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fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light, amen. mayed life-support bless -- may the lord bless you and keep you. >> amen. >> the lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. >> amen. >> the lord lift up upon you and give you peace. >> amen. let us go forth in the name of christ. >> thanks be to god. ♪
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[background sounds] >> and the funeral services for senator inouye, a memorial service here at national cathedral. he will be returned to his home state hawaii on saturday and a public service will be held at national memorial cemetery in the pacific on sunday before he is laid to rest.
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>> identifies failure -- >> ahead of that republican, senator mccain, a out and grandpa holding a briefing of a new state department report on the benghazi consulate. >> ensure the safety of our fellow americans serving our nation overseas. it's a good start but it's only a start. a tragedy in benghazi raise a lot of other serious questions about our military, intelligence community, and perhaps most importantly, the administration so-called light footprint approach to libya and so many other challenges. they do not provide answers to these questions because it never asked them. it's essential defense department conducted similar independent and comprehensive accountability effort on the occasion of the worst terrorist attack in american history after repeated attacks on u.s. and western interests in benghazi. why were no, no, no. to assets or units posture,
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alert and ready to respond to what should've been a foreseeable contingency? one in which two of the four people who lost their lives were killed in the seventh hour of the attack. this raises larger questions that the defense department must consider. what greater role doing the our military to play in the defensive our diplomats and civilian personnel overseas? especially when the broader middle east has never been more unsettling and dangerous. what is the right military posture for the u.s. forces in the region? what do we need them to do? a conversation about defense and the military right now are mostly about budgets and numbers, as important as those are we need to talk more about objective strategy and policy since the attack in benghazi could represent a kind of new normal in our dangerous world. the defense department needs to answer these questions.
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might add in the defense authorization bill we added authorization for a thousand additional marines to be used to protect our installations, our diplomatic installations overseas. it's essential for a intelligence community to conduct a similar arb type effort. why did it take more than a week for the eyewitnesses accounts from the u.s. personnel evacuated from benghazi to reach our intelligence analysts? these witnesses could have told them in minutes. there was no protest at our consulate, a conclusion that in the absence of this information it took our intelligence community nearly two weeks to confirm on its own. congress created the 9/11 commission to fix these kinds of problems of the stove piping and lack of information sharing. perhaps we need another round of reform its. perhaps most important question and still needs to be answered is this. after the fall of gadhafi, why
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did the administration not do more to support our libyan friends and partners as al qaeda affiliated terrorist groups and local militias and established sanctuaries in eastern libya? that remains a fact on the ground today. it directly implicates u.s. national security interests, and that's the real explanation of why for americans lost their lives in benghazi. the pattern of violent extremist activity in eastern libya was well documented, for the entire year leading up to the attacks of september 11, 2012, and yet the administration did too little to support our libyan partners who were grateful for america's help in their fight for liberation, who elected a pro-american government in july, two sought greater u.s. assistance to treat our war wounded, trained their national security forces, secure their borders, build their democratic institutions, and expand the rule of law.
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libyans do not want al qaeda affiliated terrorists and militias running amok in large parts of the country. that's the reality we now face. this is the broader failure of the administration's so-called light footprint approach towards libya. and regardless of whom the president nominates to serve in his cabinet, we will continue to ask these questions and demand answers and accountability. senator? >> thank you. i would like to concur with senator mccain. i thought the report was very detailed and the recommendations are good and solid in terms of how to better understand the intelligence environment, how to improve security on the ground, and there's much we can learn from this report. but here's what we do not, we know nothing really quite frankly about president obama, before, during and after the attack. they're making two movies about his leadership and the bin laden
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rate and he deserves great credit for making a tough call. sending people into pakistan was a tough decision to make. it was well executed and the president deserves great credit for making that call. however, he cannot live in a world where the president gets only credit and no scrutiny. what did he do for the seven hours in question? we have photos of him commanding the situation of the bin laden rate. we know very little, if anything, about the role he played during the seven hours of the attack. why did the president himself, as late as 25 september, claimed that this attack was related to a hateful video? and why did he continue to suggest that this was a demonstration sponsored by a video that led to a riot? well beyond when that was possible. that was no longer a plausible story. did the president know about the decreasing security environment, the deteriorating security environment?
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was he told about the april and june attacks on the consulate? was he told about the 16 august cable were ambassador stevens said if we're attacked by al qaeda militia and their spin groups being identified, we cannot defend this place? what did the president know about the security environment in libya before the attack? during the attack, what orders did he make, and why weren't they carried out? and after the attack why did he push this storyline that i think was very misleading? as to ambassador rice, after this report i hope the american people will understand that the stories she told on 16 september was completely out of line with reality on the ground, and i believe firmly now more than ever that the story she told on five national television shows was more of a political story that was in forming the american people. the talking point, who changed the talking point, who took out reference to al qaeda. when you look at the report they
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reject the idea this was anything other than a terrorist attack, and al qaeda references were all over the report and they were all over the cables coming out of libya, benghazi, tripoli, for months before. so when she said security at the consulate was substantial, significant and strong, that was the first is thing from the truth, and the report verifies that. the president said she didn't know anything about benghazi. should nothing to do with it. you've got a problem, why did you take it up with me? i thought that was a nonresponse. i thought it was very strange for the president wanted to take somebody to tell america about benghazi, had nothing to do with benghazi. if you don't anything about benghazi and look at any of the intelligence, she would've seen the deteriorating security environment, just like the people who did the report. if you paid any attention at all, you would've understood why the conclusions reached in this
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report that the security environment was deteriorating months before the attack, on september 11 itself, the last cable talked about how the militias warned of the american government, you're backing jibril, we don't like him if you continue to support him for prime minister, we will not be able to provide you allowable security. that's a well-known fact that was in the last cable of september 11, the morning before, the morning before, of the attack. so as to secretary clinton, to those who suggest that she is dodging the responsibilities because she's not sick, i think that's inappropriate and not true. i think secretary clinton has been ill, suffered a concussion come and she will testify. but having said that, when her day to testify comes, she should testify as a sitting secretary of state. and she needs to be asked. as far as i can tell there was
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no interview over in preparing this report. she needs to be asked about what she knew about the deteriorating circumstances in benghazi, the gc the 16 august cable? when she informed of the rise of al qaeda militia? i think that is only fair and appropriate. finally, as to funding, that is not an issue. ms. lamb said that funding wasn't a problem. i'm the ranking member of the foreign appropriations subcommittee. we made available money in iraq to help anywhere in the world, between 2012 it took monday care for iraq, to $20 million for tripoli. we added $33 million with the express understanding you could use it anywhere you wanted to. so i do worry about future funding cuts. i think that is something we should be aware of when we do our budget negotiation, that we cannot leave our people in a bad spot and go too far in funding reductions, but on september 11, 2012, funding was not an issue.
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this was inevitable. the people on the ground were telling us we are going to get killed if you don't do something different. they have two options. stop doing their jobs, or just press on the best they could. if anybody knows chris stevens, the last thing in the world he would do would end up. people question whether chris should a vendor on the 11th of denver, given the security environment. if you know chris like i know him, that's the place he had to be. the place where it would make a difference. the bush administration said many things about iraq that were not accurate. jon and i pushed back when we thought we needed to. we pushed back here because you can't allow any administration, republican or democrat, to get the glory of good operations and
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not accept the blame that comes when things go badly. and it's not the blame on trying to assign to a person but i'm trying to learn. i'm trying to correct. the bush administration eventually did correct failed policies. if this administration does not change their strategic view of how to engage the committee, more benghazi's will follow. there was no libyan government to outsource security. these militias were unreliable, angry, and anybody who is looking at benghazi, libya, with a critical eye at all could understand what our people on the ground were telling washington. we were out sourced security to a nonexistent government. we were pushing the theme of leading from behind to a fault. finally, i think it's fair to say that president bush sometimes went into strong without thinking of the
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consequences. i think it is fair to say that we're taking a backseat, a time of critical need for the world without thinking about the consequences. mr. president, the strategy you are employing of trying to lead from behind is allowing the mideast to blow up before our eyes. you need to engage based on reality. reality is that iraq is falling apart. if you don't do something very soon, the same thing that happened in libya is going to happen in iraq and other places throughout the world. >> thank you. i want to also ago the comments of my colleagues, senator mccain, senator graham. i appreciated the work done on the accountability review board report. there obviously was substantial work done on this, and when you to work on a bipartisan basis to implement the recommendations, many of them on the support, as soon as we can to make sure that
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our facilities around the world are secured. but let's make sure that we remember some of the most topline findings of this, that there was a systematic failure of leadership within the state department that really contributed to what happened on september 11. that the security of the consulate was grossly inadequate, and that this report thoroughly discredits the administration's narrative, almost two weeks after the attacks on the consulate in saying that this was a result of a spontaneous protest in response to a heinous video. and those responses, you think about what the ministrations at two weeks later as senator graham said come it wasn't just ambassador rice that talked about that on the sunday tv shows. in fact, at september 18 and on september 20, the president of the united states also connected these attacks to the video, despite clear evidence from the beginning from those who are on the ground that that was not the
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case. and so there are still substantial questions that remain. the questions that i also have that adequate the questions of my colleagues are, we have seen with this report that already we've had one resignation from the state department. we have three that are on administrative leave. this is all under the secretary level and below, and so it is incredibly important. one of the issues that this report finds is that there's an immigration problem within the state department, of communicating. and that comes from the top leadership of the state department. and so it is critical that we not only hear from secretary clinton, but make sure we heard from two of the deputies yesterday, to make sure that we understand, was she unaware of the security situation there. why weren't there additional steps taken to secure the consulate? and within our intelligence community, within talking points we still have not had a clear
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accounting of what changes were made, why they were made, and then why that was obviously pushed forward to the ministrations, and in two weeks of running this incident when it was clearly false. and so i support efforts to do and accountability review board report like with the intelligence community. finally, i would just say that we need to hold those accountable who committed this terrorist attack. and so, we have not yet brought anyone to justice who has committed obviously, murdered our ambassador and the three brave americans that were there with him that day. and so this is a very important question as well, that needs to be addressed immediately. and also, what investigative research has been put forward to this? one of the things that has not been discussed is how quickly were the fbi, i was troubled by how long it took the fbi to get to the scene. and we need to make sure that we
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are not falling back to where we were before september 11, where things get so passionate information is not being communicated, and when agencies are not working together. and senator mccain pointed out a poignant example of that, that there were eyewitnesses there that it took days for us to get information to the intelligence community about what those eyewitnesses had seen, which would have cleared up the misrepresentations that were made about the reaction to the video from day one. and so i think those questions have to be answered to make sure that we prevent future attacks like this. >> there will be as we know nominations coming forward for a secretary, new secretary of defense, a new director of the cia. these questions will be part of that process, will be part of our obligation as our role of advice and consent. questions? yes.
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sprint center, you talked about affiliate of leadership. do you think that people above the assistant secretary of diplomatic security should be held to account? i know secretary clinton is leading to is leading the de facto be finished as medication, does that reflect on her? where do you think the buck stops speak with the buck always stops at the top, at the president's desk. that's harry truman, the buck stops here signed. that's why these additional questions need to be answered, and those who are given the responsibility, as the secretary of state was, as the director of the cia was, these responsibilities must be placed at the scene and -- at the position of responsibility. being cabinet secretary or secretary of state or secretary of defense, have a lot of nice things that go along with having those jobs. along with those nice things like airplanes and limousines
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and secret service, also goes a responsibility and accountability to the american people. so far as was pointed out by my two colleagues, we've seen deputy assistant secretaries held responsible. what did the president know and when did he know what? what was he doing during these attacks? what did the secretary of state no? before, during and after. because the american people were clearly deceived after the murder of these four brave americans, for an incredibly long period of time, and an explicitly long period of time. spent i would just point out kanye, i happened to have come you really should look at the organizational chart. this is a rough one here. i was looking at who was interviewed and who was and. we are talking about people that insurance of designation here, and below them are where the administration latest pics of the questions are fair to say
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that when we have an issue of that comment securing our consulate and go up the chain of command, you know, what was informed? was the information up the chain of command? if that didn't happen then that's a very important question because in order to make decisions on what our security footprint was in that area, these people made information but also if that did go up the chain of command why were not actions taken? i think there are further questions to make sure, number one, that not only what happened within the state department, but across agencies here. this is an issue where it's important that not only it was within the secretary of state with the department of defense issued that we talked about. and we have made a request from the chairman, to the chairman of the armed services committee, chairman levin, for a hearing before the armed services committee. we made that request this morning. so that we can have a full hearing before the committee to find out why we didn't have
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military assets in place and what the thinking was there. >> senator, as mentioned there will be a new defense secretary. it will be your friend and colleague, senator john kerry. i wonder if you and senator graham -- sorry. secretary of state. if you and senator graham could reflect on the appointment and what you seek him how you see his confirmation process playing out. >> first of all, we always believed that the president of the united states, by virtue of winning an election, should have the right to pick people that he wants. and if those individuals we don't agree with philosophical philosophically, that's not the criteria. the criteria is asked whether that person is qualified and will do the job that fits the responsibility they are given your we have known john kerry for many years. we have confidence in john
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kerry's ability to carry out the job, but i would also like to emphasize again. our job is to advise and consent. and the nomination process and the hearings and votes are what really matters spent i think senator kerry is a very solid choice by the president. he has a lot of experience but he's been on the foreign relations committee for very long time. he knows most of the world leaders, so when he goes into a country he will be a known quantity. i deserve agree with him on policy choices, but i respect senator kerry and i think he would be a very solid choice. and again, about nominations, i have a pretty good record i think of being, providing advice and consent, sometimes not enough in the political best interest. my problem with some of the names being floated to secretary state before senator kerry is that i just did not believe that our country is going to be well served by people who i quite frankly didn't trust. and susan rice, let's just get
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to the heart of the matter, i don't question her character of patriotism. i just thought she was very eager to tell a story that did not make a lot of sense. and we can't have that. i really do believe that not mentioning al qaeda being involved in sending al qaeda was decimated, was not appropriate. i believe to tell the american people the consulate was strongly consubstantial insignificantly secured was, by all means, not appropriate. i believe that to suggest this thing was anything other than a terrorist attack was a political narrative, and i want somebody to ask secretary clinton, why didn't you go on tv? when ambassador rice is secretary clinton wasn't able, she was sick. i want to see if that really withstand scrutiny. i know she is sick now but i know she is not a pain because she really is ill.
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and i'm really curious as to how that happened to i think that was a big deal. and about accountability, remember abu ghraib. it was a complete absolute failure of managing a jail. you had a jail flooded with prisoners and unqualified guards and it was a national nightmare. i didn't ask for rumsfeld to resign because he is thousands of miles away. he accepted responsibility because it happened on his watch, but we learned from abu ghraib. they are stonewalling here. we are not getting the information that's available to make intelligent directives active decisions. we still won't have the cables coming from libya back to washington on the day in question. we still don't have the fbi interview. the president said he would be transparent and cooperate, and the american people learned what happened. we don't know anything about what he did.
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he just -- >> now to live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. as senators try to finish up legislative business before the christmas holiday. today, members will work on a bill offering relief to victims of hurricane center. also vote on 2013 defense programs and policy, along with a number of judicial nominations. now to live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2.
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the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain dr. barry black will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, you only are immortal, so today we offer our thanksgiving. thank you for life and for opportunities to make our nation stronger. thank you for the peace you give, even in the midst of storms. use our senators today, filling them with strength and purpose.
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may they labor to encourage the right and correct the wrong. when they meet with reversal and failure, may they not become weary but continue to work to fulfill your will. we pray in your sacred name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication
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to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., december 21, 2012. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable sheldon whitehouse, a senator from the state of rhode island, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. mrs. hagan: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mrs. hagan: following leader remarks, the senate will consider the conference report to the national defense authorization act. the filing deadline for amendments to the emergency supplemental bill is 1:30 p.m. today. at approximately 2:00 p.m., there will be a roll call vote on adoption of the national defense conference report. we will work on an agreement for amendments in order to complete action on the completely as well as an agreement on fisa.
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the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: last night, the house of representatives proved what we have known for quite a while. speaker boehner's plan to raise taxes on 25 million middle-class taxpayers while handing out $50,000 bonuses to millionaires and billionaires was dead on arrival. we said that yesterday. we knew the so-called plan b was no plan at all. it couldn't pass the senate. turns out, it couldn't pass the house either. it's too bad speaker boehner wasted a week in this futile political stunt, and that's all we can all it, mr. president, but at least now house republicans have gotten the message loud and clear that
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comprehensive -- a comprehensive solution to the looming fiscal cliff will need to be a bipartisan solution. no comprehensive agreement can pass either chamber without both democrats and republican votes. which means any solution will have to ask the most fortunate among us to pay a little more to reduce the deficit and ensure hardship doesn't -- hardship doesn't take the nation to the brink of default. nothing that has passed the house of representatives fits that test, nothing. a few days ago, president obama and speaker boehner appeared poised to strike a grand bargain, but we have heard that before. instead of making hard choices or compromising, as president obama has been willing to do, the speaker retreated to his corner and resorted to political stunts. but that stunt fell flat. it's time for the speaker and all republicans to return to the
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negotiating table. we have never left, mr. president. it's time for republicans to work with us to find the middle ground. that's the only hope of averting the devastating impacts of the fiscal cliff. mr. president, the fiscal cliff is -- needs to be avoided. in the meantime, the speaker should bring the middle-class tax cut passed by the senate five months ago to the floor of the house for a vote. we know it would pass. all he has to do is let democrats vote with some republicans. it will pass. the clock is ticking until the nation goes over the fiscal cliff and taxes go up for every family in america, but there is still time for the speaker to hit the brakes and avoid that cliff. we don't need the thelma and louise projection over that cliff, mr. president. the senate-passed bill would protect 98% of families and 97% of small businesses from crippling tax hikes. while president obama and the
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speaker work toward a compromise agreement. that agreement should be comprehensive. if republicans truly want to ensure american families taxes don't go up on january 1, they should simply pass the senate bill. the only reason speaker boehner hasn't brought our bill to the floor sooner is he knows it will pass. he worked for a day or two seeing if he could bring that up so it wouldn't pass. that didn't work either. americans are not fooled by the speaker's phony procedural excuses for failing to bring this solution to a vote. they are tired of excuses. they expect action. so let me be very poignant. there is nothing preventing the speaker from taking up our bill and giving middle-class families certainty. so i say to my friend, the speaker, this isn't a game, it is not scoring political points or putting wins on the board. there will be very serious consequences for millions of families if congress fails to compromise. there will be very serious consequences for our country if congress fails to compromise. it's time for the speaker to
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return to the negotiating table ready to compromise. it's time for the house, especially the house republicans, to remember what's at stake. i repeat -- the $250,000 program would pass overwhelmingly in the house. it's up to the species to let that vote occur. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: most people are focused, of course, today on what happened over in the house. i'd like to focus on a press conference that congressional democrats held just a few hours earlier. here were the leaders of the democratic party here in the senate, other than the president, these are the folks with the greatest responsibility
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for protecting the american people from a massive tax hike coming in january. and what do they do? they stood in front of the cameras and laughed, laughed. they giggled at a bunch of bad jokes and told the american people they didn't plan to do anything this week, nothing. absolutely nothing. democrats in the house vowed they wouldn't vote for this bill. the majority leader vowed he would ignore it if it made it out of the house and went to the senate, and the president vowed he would veto it if it made it out of the senate. so democrats spent all day yesterday, literally all day yesterday defeating a bill that would have made current tax rates permanent for more than 99% of americans, and they laughed about it. ten days to go until the fiscal cliff, and they laughed about it. i don't know if anybody has looked at a calendar lately, but we're about out of time here,
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folks. this isn't funny. people's livelihoods are at stake here. the u.s. economy is at stake here. millions upon millions of families are counting on us to do something. look, it's the president's job, it's his job to find a solution that can pass the congress. he's the only one who can do it. this isn't john boehner's problems to solve. he has done his part. he has bent over backwards. mr. president, how about rallying your party around a solution? how about getting democrats to support something? i've said it many times before, we simply cannot solve the problems we face unless and until the president of the united states either finds the will or develops the ability, the ability to lead. this is a moment that calls for presidential leadership. that's the way out of this. it's that simple. does anybody wonder why we keep
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going from crisis to crisis around here? anybody notice a pattern? this didn't have to be a crisis. this was an opportunity, but once again the president ignored it. he went out and held rallies and gave partisan speeches even after he had already been re-elected. as i said yesterday, i think it's obvious at this point the president wants to go off the cliff, but i know most of the american people don't want that. so today i'm going to make an offer. with ten days to go, we have an obligation to act on something, something that can pass the house and the senate, and if the president won't propose it, if senate democrats won't propose it, i will. earlier this year, the house passed a bill that extends current rates on everyone for one year. one year, with instructions for expedited comprehensive tax reform by next year. we could bring up this house-passed bill.
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if the majority leader has a plan that can get 60 votes in the senate, break through the disarray in his own caucus and build bipartisan support, offer that as an amendment and then let's vote. let's vote on amendments from all sides. and then let's go to conference with the house of representatives. they have already passed a bill, one that i support, to prevent a tax hike on all americans and reform the tax code. why don't we take it up here, and let's get this done. it's called legislating. that's what we used to do in congress. now, democrats may be popping champagne corks today about bringing down plan b, but all their effort to do so yesterday won't protect a single taxpayer from a massive tax hike in just a few weeks. the american people are waiting. surely we can do better than this. let's do it. mr. president, i yield the
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floor. the presiding officer: the leadership time is reserved -- the majority leader. mr. reid: mr. president, if this weren't such a serious situation we face ourselves, it would be laughable. can you imagine saying that we should defeat a bill that we have already defeated? we voted, we voted on the proposal at the same time we voted to pass that protecting middle-class americans. that passed the senate. one to give the richest of the rich a tax continuation of the breaks they get. as i caid, the proposal they had, about another $50,000 for each of them, was defeated here. it was defeated in the senate. so my friend -- and he is my friend -- the republican leader is struggling to try to find a way to blame democrats, and it's
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a struggle. trying to blame us for the failure of the house to pass the speaker's bill. the house is led by the republicans. their margin narrowed. it will be better for the country after the first of the year, but right now he controls the house by a wide margin. i served in the house. the speaker is all powerful in the house. to blame us for that travesty that took place over there, mr. president, that is pretty incredible. as i tried to say in my remarks here, mr. president, could we at least protect the middle class? my friend complains that the president hasn't done enough. he put forward a proposal that
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has received criticism from democrats because he was too generous with speaker boehner. but the president believes, as he said several times, both sides may have to make hard choices. the president released a balanced $2.4 trillion program. that's pretty good. it would alleviate the fiscal cliff, allow the s.g.r. to continue so doctors get paid and patients have a doctor to go to. it extended unemployment benefits for people who are desperate. it's true there's a crisis here, but it's because the house republicans refuse to pass the senate-passed tax bill. it's because the republicans in the house are fighting among themselves. the republican leader seeks to
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pass the house-passed bill but we've already turned that bill down. the real answer lies in the speaker, who controls the house of representatives, talking to the president and working things out. mr. mcconnell: by --. the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: all i was suggest to my friend the majority leader you have a tax bill that originated in the house, it came over to the senate. if our friends in the majority don't like that version of it, they could call it up, amend it and see if there's a majority in the senate for something. the time for finger pointing is, seems to me, about over. the american people are not particularly interested in what originated here or there or who is doing what. they're interested in getting a result. and i was just trying to be helpful in suggesting you've got a tax bill that came over from
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the house, you've got a majority here, you could take it up, offer amendments, see if there is something that could achieve a majority of the senate rather than just complaining because the house didn't pass something yesterday, that didn't going to solve the problem. somehow, some way, we need to find a way forward and i hope we can in the coming week. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i hope we can, too. but this is really quite remarkable. i'm told that members from this body went and talked to the republican caucus yesterday saying send us your plan b, and the democrats over here will take care of it and send you back something you'll like better. mr. president, we can all see what's happened in the press. now, i like john john boehner, but gee wheeze. this is a pretty big political battering he's taken.
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what he should do is allow a vote in the house of representatives on a bipartisan bill. it will pass. democrats will vote for it, some republicans will vote for it. that's what we're supposed to do. but he's trying to pass everything with that majority that he has that can't agree on anything among themselves. bring in the democrats. that's what the country was set up, our founding fathers set it up that way. but he wants some other method where everything is done by a slim majority that they have. this is absolutely incredible, mr. president. and we believe that the speaker should be concerned, i'm confident he is, but maybe he's more concerned, as some have said, about his election to be returned as speaker. he should be more concerned about what's going to happen to the country. if he showed leadership and walked out there and said this is the right thing for the
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country, we're all going to vote on this, democrats would vote for it and enough republicans would vote for it to pass something that would take us away from that fiscal cliff. but this brinksmanship and silliness that's going on over there that you wouldn't do in an eighth grade government election. the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i would only add that the time for finger pointing is gradually running out here. the american people know we have a president, they know we have a senate and they know we have a house and they're anxiously waiting whether we're going to solve this problem before the end of the year. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will now proceed to the consideration of the conference report to accompany h.r. 4310 which the clerk will report.
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the clerk: conference report to accompany h.r. 4310, the committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two houses on the amendment of the senate to the bill h.r. 4310 to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2013 for military activities of the department of defense and so forth and for other purposes, having met, have agreed that the house recede from its disagreement to the amendment of the senate and agree to the same with an amendment and the senate agree to the same signed by a majority of the conferees on the part of both houses. the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will now be up to one hour of debate, equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees prior to a vote on adoption of the conference report. the senator from michigan. mr. levin: mr. president, on behalf of the senate armed services committee, i'm pleased
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to bring along with senator mccain the conference report on h.r. 4310, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2013. this conference report which was signed by all 26 senate conferees, all the members of the senate armed services committee, contains many provisions that are of critical importance to our troops. this will be the 51st consecutive year in which a national defense authorization act will be enacted into law. i want to thank my dear friend, senator mccain, our ranking minority member for all that he did to bring us to this conclusion and for the years of great leadership on our committee. i've been lucky to have senator mccain as a partner. i know both of us are grateful to the chairman and the ranking member of the house armed services committee, buck mckeon and adam smith for their hard work for reconciling the many differences between the house and senate bill and for helping to produce a solid bill
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to support the men and women of our armed forces. mr. president, the conference report contains many important provisions that will improve the quality of life for our men and women in uniform. it will provide needed support and assistance to our troops who are deplored, it will make the investments we need to meet the challenges of the 21st century. first and foremost, the bill authorizes 1.7% across-the-board pay raise for all members of the uniformed services consistent with the president's request. the conference report contains strong additional sanctions on iran. the iran sanctions provisions will designate certain persons in iran's energy port shipping and shipbuilding sectors as entities of proliferation concerns, summing many more transactions to sanctions. it will impose sanctions on persons selling or diverting to iran a defined list of materials relevant to the aforementioned
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sectors, to certain iranians especially designated nationals or blocked persons. who are to be used in connection with certain iranian military programs. it's going to impose sanctions on any insurance or reinsurance provider or underwriter that knowingly provides underwriting service or insurance for activities for which sanctions have been imposed to any person in the energy, shipping, or shipbuilding sector in iran. it will ?aitd the iran as human rights abusers for their broadcasting of forced confessions and show trials, blocking their assets and prevent ago entities from doing business with them and banning any travel to the united states. the administration requested three modifications, in particular one was additional time to implement the provisions following enactment, second additional the time between
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waiver a renewals and third was a modification of the exceptions clause in the senate-passed version to a broader term that would have incorporated nondesignated iranian persons. the conference report provides two of the three modifications the additional time requested. it does not make any change in terms of the exceptions clause. the conference report contains a few provisions addressing detainee issues. they extend existing transitions on the release of gitmo detainees for another year. we did not adopt the permanent limitations in the house bill. we also provided new flexibility for dealing with detainees who cooperate with u.s. intelligence and law enforcement authorities pursuant to pretrial agreements. the report establishes new congressional notification requirements for military detainees held on naval vessels
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and for third-country nationals who are released from military detention in afghanistan. but the report does not place any conditions or limitations on such transfer. the conference report includes -- excuse me, does not include the senate language regarding military detention inside the ups. the house conferees would simply not accept this provision. instead, we included a provision which says and states the following "nothing in the authorization for use of military force, public law such and such, or the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2012 shall be construed to deny the availability of the writ of habeas corpus or to deny any constitutional rights in a court ordained or established by or
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under article 3 of the constitution to any person inside the united states who would be entitled to the availability of such writ or such rights in the absence of such laws." now, the provision in the fiscal 2012 act which is referred to in the language i just read and is already law, that section in the 2012 act is section 1021. that section said the following: "nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of united states citizens lawful rez department aliens of the united states or any other persons who are captured or arrested inside the united states." now, the language in this conference report that we're presenting today reflects my view that congress did not restrict or deny anyone's constitutional rights in either
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the 2001 authorization for use of military force or the fiscal year 2012 national defense authorization act. as a matter of fact, the statement of managers accompanying this conference report points out that "constitutional rights may not be restricted or denied by statute." now in the alternative fuel provision, the conference report does not include a provision in the house-passed bill that would have prohibited fiscal year 2013 for the production or purchase of alternative fuel if the cost of producing the fuel exceeds the cost of traditional fossil fuel. the conference report does contain a provision that limits the department of defense's fiscal year 2013 defense production act funding for the construction of a biofuel refinery until -- and that's the key word -- the defense --
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the defense departments received the contributions from the departments of energy and agriculture for the same purpose. we do not limit phase one of the d.p.a., the defense production act, project, nor does the conference report limit the fy 12 funds for construction. the conference report in the area of cyber, the conference report requires that the secretary of defense to create a process requiring the defense contractors that use or possess classified or sensitive department of defense authorization to -- information to report successful cyber penetrations of their networks or systems. second if the department feels the need to determine what department of defense information may have been lost from such penetration, the provision would authorize the department of defense to conduct
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its own forensic analysis upon request and subject to the specified limitations. and i know the presiding officer has a special interest in this area of cybersecurity. this provision in the defense authorization bill represents a major breakthrough in the nation's need to protect cyber -- our information systems and cybersecurity. now, there's a lot of other sensitive areas where we're threatened with cyber attacks such as police transportation sectors which obviously we could not touch, they're not within our jurisdiction but they need similar action. on the area of missile defense, the conference report provides the secretary of defense will evaluate by the end of 2013 at least three possible future missile defense interceptor deployment locations in the united states, at least two of which would be on the east
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coast. and then to prepare an environmental impact statement for the locations evaluated. it would also require that the director of the missile defense agency to conduct a plan for an additional site in case the president decides to proceed with such a deployment. however, the conference report does not mandate nor does it authorize the deployment of any missile defense site and does not require the defense department to submit a deployment plan to the congress. there are many other issues that i would touch upon, mr. president, but in the interest of time i would just summarize my statement as follows and would ask unanimous consent that the balance of my statement which i have not read be up certificated in the record as though read. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. levin: i once again want to thank senator mccain.
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as i said before, i've been honored, i've been pleased, and i've been lucky to have senator mccain as my partner. and leading -- in leading the armed services committee. and i know how indebted we both are to our staffs as well as to all of our members who worked so well together on a bipartisan basis. our majority and minority staffs, led by rick debobis and ann sour have done amazing work on this bill. they did a month's work in weeks, they did a week's work in days, and they did a day's work in hours. i ask unanimous consent that a full list of our majority and minority staff who gave so much of themselves and of their families be printed in the record at this time. finally, i would -- i would note that the committee's chief clerk, chris coward, will be retiring at the end of this year
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after completing more than 41 years on the committee staff. she has been a driving far as behind the staff support for the annual defense authorization act, and she will be sorely missed. and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that lieutenant commander todd lud wick be given floor privileges for the duration of the debate on the conference report for h.r. 4310. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: i note the presence of the senator from kentucky on the floor. i understand he seeks recognition for how long? for ten minutes. and i ask that he be recognized at this time.
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mr. paul: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: i rise in opposition to this bill because i believe it contains language that would allow american citizens to be detained without trial. now, the other side has argued that that isn't true, that you will be eligible for your constitutional rights if you get into an article 3 court or a constitutional court, but here's the rub. you have to be eligible. who decides whether you are eligible for the court or not? it's an arbitrary decision, and this is what this debate has been over. so don't let the wool be pulled over your eyes to think that you have a protection and that you will get a trial by jury if accused of a crime. we had protection in this bill, we passed an amendment that specifically said if you were an american citizen or here legally in the country, you would get a trial by jury. it was explicitly stated and it's been removed in the conference committee. it's been removed because they want the ability to hold
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american citizens without trial in our country. this is so fundamentally wrong and goes against everything we stand for as a country that it can't go unnoticed and should be pointed out. now, proponents of indefinite detention without trial say that an accusation alone is sufficient, that these crimes are so heinous the trials are unnecessary. they will show you pictures of foreigners in foreign dress from foreign lands and say that that's what this debate is about. it is untrue. this debate is about american citizens accused of crimes in the united states. make no mistake that the faces of terrorism include awful people who should be punished to the full extent of the law, but the same portrait of evil could be drawn of domestic terrorists,
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of domestic terror and domestic violence. one could parade pictures of charles manson, of timothy mcveigh, the oklahoma bomber, of jeffrey dahmer, and people would cry out that they don't deserve a trial either. but when we think about it, when most americans understand at some level that when you're accused of a crime in our country you get a trial, you get a trial by a jury of your peers, no matter how heinous your crime is, no matter how awful you are, we give you a trial. this bill takes away that right and says that if someone thinks you're dangerous, we will told you without a trial. it's an abomination. it should not stand. most americans understand that you are accused of a crime doesn't make you guilty of a crime. you get your day in court. now, some here may not care when they determine that they are going to detain ahmed or yusef
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or ibrahim, but many innocents are named those names. many americans are named sawl or david or isaac. is our memory so short that we don't understand the danger of allowing detention without trial? is our memory so short that we don't understand the havoc that bias and bigotry can do when unrestrained by law? your trial by jury is your last defense against tyranny, your last defense against oppression. we have locked up arabs, we have locked up jews, we have locked up the japanese. do you not want to retain your right to trial by jury? do you want to allow the whims of government to come forward and lock up who they please without being tried? in our not too distant past,
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americans named ozaki or ichiro or aruki were indefinitely detained by the tens of thousands, without trial, without accusation. will america only begin to regret our loss of trial by jury when the people have names like smith and jones? but mark your word, this is about people named smith and jones or people named david or sawl or isaac or ahmed or ibrahim. this is about all americans and whether or not you will have due process, whether or not you will have the protections of the law. we are told these people are so evil and so dangerous that we can't allow trials, but trial by jury is who we are. trial by jury is that shining beacon on a hill that people around the world wish to emulate. it's why people came here. it's why we are exceptional as a people. it isn't the color of our skin.
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it's our ideas. it's the right to trial by jury that is looked to as a beacon of hope for people around the world, and we're willing to discard it out of fear. it's a shame to scrap the very rights that make us exceptional as a people. proponents of indefinite detention will argue that we are a good people and that we will never unjustly detain people. i don't dispute their intentions or impute bad motives to them, but what i will say is remember what madison said. madison said that if a government were comprised of angels, we wouldn't need the chains of the constitution. we wouldn't need to bind your representatives and restrain them from doing bad things to good people if men were angels, if all men in government were angels, we wouldn't need these rules, but all men in government aren't angels now and never will be, and there is always the danger that someday, someone
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will be elected who would take the rights away of the japanese. it happened once. who would take the rights away of jews, the rights away of arabs. we are told by these people who believe in indefinite detention that the battle is everywhere. now, if the battle is everywhere, your liberties are nowhere. if the battle is without end, when will they return your liberties? when will your rights be restored if the battle has no end and the battlefield is limitless and the war is endless? when will your rights be restored? it is not a temporary or limited suspension of your right to trial by jury but an unlimited, unbounded relinquishment of the right to trial by jury without length or duration. we are told that limiting the right to trial by jury is justified under the law of war. am i the only one uncomfortable applying the law of war to
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american citizens accused of crimes in the united states? is the law of war a euphemism for martial law? what is the law of war except something to go around the constitution? it is an extraordinary circumstance that might happen in a battlefield somewhere else but should not happen in the united states. every american accused of a crime, no matter how heinous, should get their day in court, should get a trial by jury of their peers. these are not idle questions. i believe that defense of the bill of rights trumps the concerns for speedy passage even of a bill which i generally support. 67 senators voted just a few weeks ago to include a provision in this bill that says you have a right to trial by jury, and it was plucked out in secret, in conference despite the wishes of two-thirds of the senators in this body, republican and
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democrat, who were concerned about protecting the right to a jury trial. many senators say oh well, we tried, we lost, they outmaneuvered us, they were sneakier than we were. i disagree, though, that we give up. i think the time is now. i think we make a statement. the fight is today. the subject is too dear. if a majority were today to stand up and say you know what? the right to a trial by jury is important enough to delay the defense authorization bill for two weeks, i think it would be an important message to send. so today i stand and urge a no vote on what i consider to be a travesty of justice. thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: the senator from kentucky is flat-out wrong. there is no such language in this bill that denies a right to trial by jury. he made the same kind of charges
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against last year's bill. we're trying to keep up with the false charges that he makes, so we put language in this year's bill saying nothing in last year's bill does or can be implied to do any such thing as the senator from kentucky is charging. so we have language in this year's bill, nothing in last year's bill. that was the same charge he made against last year's bill, shall be construed to deny the writ of habeas corpus or any constitutional rights under article 3 of the constitution to any person inside the united states. and then he makes, i think, a totally outlandish charge, which is that, well, okay, so we were outmaneuvered and they were sneakier than we were. where does that come from? what's the basis for that kind of a charge against senator mccain and myself? we have put language in this bill which makes it absolutely
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clear that nothing that we have adopted here in this senate does anything like what the senator from kentucky says, denying people the right to jury trial. so i totally reject his argument. he does not quote any language in this bill that does what he says this bill does. he actually started. the senator from kentucky actually started his statement by saying this bill has language which will deny the trial by jury. what language? what page? makes the allegation going to at least sit there. well, it's flat-out wrong. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: thank you. one, i want to congratulate the authors and the managers of the bill and the house for coming up with i think a very good bill for our military.
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pay raises, trying to increase defenses, and i don't mind saying i think we're at war. i know the presiding officer believes that. how long does the war last? i don't know. i can't tell you. am i supposed to know that? can we not fight it unless we know the date it ends? america, is it part of the battlefield? you tell me. where do you think they want to pit us the most? where do -- what do you think al qaeda would love to do more than anything else? come here and destroy the building i am speaking in. and the only reason they can't get here yet is because we are fighting them over there, we are gathering good intelligence, we're taking the war to them. our intelligence agencies are -- agencies, our f.b.i., our military, our c.i.a., they are all over the world tracking these crazy people so they can't get here. so to suggest that i can't tell you when the war ends, therefore
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we have got to turn it into a crime, is dangerous and absurd. did they know when germany was going to fall, berlin? did they know when tokyo was going to fall? what happened to the german saboteurs who landed in long island during world war ii? they were captured by the f.b.i. and turned over to the military. what happened to the american citizens that were helping the german saboteurs? they were held as enemy combatants. to my good friend from kentucky, i don't doubt your passion, i don't doubt your sincerity, i doubt your judgment on these shiewps. the supreme court has spoken three different times. recently just less than six or seven years ago an american citizen was caught helping the taliban in afghanistan, and they said you could hold one of our own as an enemy combatant until the hostilities cease and that is a hard time to figure.
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well, let's get this right. if an american citizen helping the taliban in afghanistan kill our soldiers can be captured and held as an enemy combatant according to the supreme court, what kind of world would we live in if the al qaeda collaborator american citizen attacked us here trying to kill us on our own homeland to say, well, that doesn't count, you're no longer at war because we're here in america, that you got to read them their rights and give them the lawyer and you can't hold them for military intelligence gathering purposes. my good friend doesn't understand that in fighting a war, the goal is to win the war. it's to defeat the enemy. in fighting a crime, it's designed to hold somebody accountable for a legal wrong. i've been a military lawyer for 30 years. he may not understand the law of war, but i do. and the supreme court does.
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and the supreme court has said in world war ii and in this war if an american citizen collaborates with the enemy, they will be given due process as -- under the law of war. a federal judge will hear the claim i am wrongly held, i am not part of al qaeda or the taliban, and that's the only time you could be held as an enemy combatant. you have to be helping al qaeda or the taliban, you have to be involved in a plot or an act. if the federal judge agrees with the government, yes, you are in fact, there is evidence to suggest you're helping the taliban or al qaeda, i think most americans would say it's reasonable to hold that person to find out what they know about this attack and future attacks. can you imagine what would happen in this country if three people were running up the capitol steps to blow up the capitol, one of them survived,
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one of them was an american citizen, we couldn't hold them and question them, where did you train, is there any other attack planned, what do you know, who did you work with, that we'd have to say within hours or a day or two, here's your lawyer, you got a right to remain slept? can you imagine what would have happened in world war 2 if the american citizen who helped the nazis we turned that into a common crime? the difference between me and the senator from kentucky is that i believe with all my heart and soul that the al qaeda-taliban groups are at war with us and are trying to come to our homeland. and i know they're trying to find american citizens to help them and they will. there's never been a war in america where somebody within the american citizen community did not collaborate with the enemy. that is happening today. and when that day comes and we
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capture that person, i want as an option the ability to hold them as an enemy combatant like we have in other wars that -- they will get their day in court but they will not be read their rights or given a lawyer on the spot because that would stop intelligence gathering. to the managers of this bill, the men and women of the house who sent it over here, thank god the that you chose a balance between due process and common sense. and all i will say is that the way we found bin laden was not through torture, and i'm offended by that, as senator mccain and senator levin. the way we tracked down bin laden is that we had people held at gitmo for years under the law of war. we don't try you or let you go. when you capture somebody on the battlefield, you don't hold a trial, you hold the prisoner to try to gather intelligence and keep them on the battlefield. and through that process, over years, the bush administration and the obama administration put together the puzzle about bin
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laden. it wasn't because of waterboarding. it was because this country had available to it the law of war detention that allows us to hold peopled get to know them over time and make sure they could not go back to the fight and good questioning and good interrogation techniques led to finalling bin laden. what the senator from kentucky is saying that would not be available to us as a nation if an american citizen were involved attacking us on the homeland. what an absurd result. that if an american citizen joined with al qaeda to kill everybody in this room, for some unknown reason, we would turn that into a crime rather than an act of war. if you collaborate with al qaeda or the taliban, two things can happen to you. you can get killed, you can get captured. and you will get a trial one day most likely and nobody is restricting your trial rights. what senator levin said is true. there's nothing in here restricting the right of trial. what's in here is giving us the
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option to hold someone as an enemy combatant so you don't have to mirandize and turn an act of war into a crime. and it won't be long, i'm afraid, before this theory is tested in reality. the enemy is afoot. they're trying to penetrate our homeland. they're seeking aid and comfort from americans within our own country who are going to side with the enemy, unfortunately. and when that day comes i want to make sure that we have the ability in this war, like every war, to hold them to gather intelligence, not to torture them but to make sure we're safe as a nation. due process, yes. under the law of war, it must be so. if we turn this war into a crime, we're going to regret it. and if you don't believe we're at war, then i just could not disagree with you more. and i cannot tell you when the war ends but i'll tell you how
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it ends. this is how it's going to end. we're going to win, and they're going to lose. because we can't afford to lose. and been 2010 now and when that -- between now and when that day comes, we're going to take the fight to you. if we find an american citizen helping the enemy overseas, this president ordered the killing by drone of an american citizen overseas, i believe it was yemen, and the president said i have ample evidence he is now assisting al qaeda overseas to attack american targets. i'm going to take him out. well done, mr. president. well, done, mr. president. now, if we all -- most of us agree you can kill an american citizen helping al qaeda kill us overseas, you can't capture an american citizen helping al qaeda here at home? and hold him for questioning under the law of war? what an absurd result.
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so i not only am going to vote for this bill, i'm going to celebrate the fact that we've done nothing to stop a trial right as senator levin said, there's not one thing in this bill that restricts your right to a trial. what we do have in this bill is the recognition we're at war, and we retain as an option that has not been used -- there is no american citizen in detention, but there may be a need for that one and we retain that under this bill. mr. mccain: will the gentleman yield for a question briefly. mr. graham: sure. mr. mccain: under the scenario envisioned by the argument by the senator from kentucky, if an american citizen is overseas as alawacky was in yemen, and we took a drone and killed him, which was a decision made by the president of the united states.
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mr. graham: good decision. mr. mccain: but if he had been in the united states of america, a citizen engaged in the same activities that justified him being killed, that mr. alawacky would have been entitled to his miranda rights, habeas corpus, a trial by jury, as if he were treated as an american citizen. i don't think many people would quite understand that distinction of geography. mr. graham: it makes no sense, senator mccain, and he would be entitled to a habeas hearing if he were caught here in the united states but he would be held under the law of war because the allegation against him is not that he committed a crime, that he's collaborating with the enemy. yes, you could have a scenario under the senator from kentucky's view of things that we could kill somebody, an american citizen overseas helping the enemy kill our troops troops but if they made it here at home or joined with al qaeda here at home, all of a sudden we have to give them a lawyer and read them their
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rights and we can't hold them under law of war detention to find out what they know about an impending attack. that makes absolutely no sense. the supreme court has rejected that kind of thinking. i hope that day never comes but i don't know when the war is over, he's right about that, but i know this, as long as i'm in the senate, we're going to fight it and we're to fight it as a war, an crime. mr. mccain: if the gentleman would yield back, there every indication in the middle east, that we see and around the world, al qaeda is on the way back. far from being defeated. i want to make an additional comment to my friend, senator levin, the chairman who i've had the honor of bringing these bills to the floor with and working together with -- for 25 years, and i was tempted to leave it unresponded to, but a statement the senator from kentucky made, well, they were
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sneakier than we were, i just have to say to the chairman, i don't think that you have ever conducted our committee and our deliberations and our work here on the floor and in conference in any way as being sneaky. so i categorically reject that kind of comment, and i don't think it's worthy of the performance that you have are provided to this committee. mr. levin: i very much thank my dear friend from arizona. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: i thank the presiding officer. only one thing i'll add to this subject before i know the senator from arkansas seeks to speak and we're going to run out of time soon, is that the provision which was in our bill which both the ranking member and myself voted for, which was stricken, one of the arguments dpeps it was made by the aclu. so our friend from kentucky
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talks about something in this bill which denies the right to jury trial and the proof that he gives for that is something that's not in the bill, which is -- violates logic to begin with but putting that aside, one of the arguments against keeping it in the bill was made by the american civil liberties union, and surely they believe that people's rights to trial and jury trial should not be denied. so the allegations that were made by the senator from kentucky are wrong, there is absolutely no substantiation for them, including the one just referred to by senator mccain. but the statement that he makes that there is language in this bill -- here's the bill. where's the senator from kentucky? what page of the bill is he referring to? the language that he says denies people the right to trial.
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it's just simply not there, and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. pryor: i'm going to try to keep my remarks to about five minutes here. i would first, though, like to thank senators levin and mccain for their leadership on this legislation. they really set the tone and they've been good role models for the entire senate on how legislation should be conducted. so i want to thank both of them. i think men of my colleagues feel the very same way, that they appreciated how we've -- appreciate how we've handled the defense authorization. it's a massive undertaking and sometimes as we know we have a lot of gridlock around here but because of the way they've hamid it they've been able to get this bill to this point. i'm not going to object to this bill at all. at one point i thought about it because i am so upset, in fact, my staff has seen said livid and i have been livid
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about how one item has been handled by the air force here. and that is as we all know, about 10 months ago the air force came out with a proposed force restructure, and that included taking an a-10 unit away from the arkansas air national guard that's based in fort smith, arkansas. well, i understand -- understandably when something like that happens you have questions so ten months ago i started asking why are you doing this? give me your analysis. give me how much money you're going to save, are you aware that you have fort chafee right off the end of the runway, i'll talk about that, are you aware this just went through a bracc, they had f-16's and now these and the brac commission said this is the best place, have them right here in fort smith, arkansas. we got stonewalled, they wouldn't tell us analysis, how
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much is this costing, how much is this saving. they absolutely stonewalled not just my office but they stonewalled the whole congress as far as i know. i've talked to people all over this place on the senate side and the house side. they never got any numbers. finally just in the last few weeks to in talking to members of the air force that have stars on their shoulders, they've told me, well, there was no business analysis. there was no base-by-base analysis here. basically, what this boils down to is we need to make some cuts, and more or less your number came up. they go back to the one flying mission per state. we can talk about that more if we want to. but the problem is we are in a budget environment where we're having downward pressure on military spending. we know that. we're going to have to make military cuts. not just this year but in the out years. there's no doubt about it. the united states air force should always count the costs, they should always make a
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determination on how much these things cost, how much they save. they didn't do that here. they should also know that we're going to have a smaller force in the future. so as we wean out some units -- and it's going to happen, it's going to be painful, people aren't going to like it -- but you should keep the best units you have, the strongest units you have. in the 1 8th in fort smith, arkansas, is the best unit in the system. and i say that objectively because there are numbers to back that up. it's the cheapest to operate. even though it went through the transition from f-16's to a-10's just a few years ago, they have already deployed twice, they have deployed twice. one reason they got it extended in a deployment was because another a-10 unit wasn't ready. what this does, it puts those pilots, those men and women in uniform who just got back from afghanistan, they get off the plane, they are being hugged by
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their spouses and their children and their community, and basically the air force is giving them pink slips. now, the ultimate slap in the face happened just this week when the national guard bureau had the audacity to contact the 1 8th flying wing in fort smith and say hey, by the way, could you deploy one more time? there is another unit that's not ready. can you deploy one more time? it's just astonishing that the air force would do this. but we had a commission in there, the commission didn't survive. i think -- i have talked about that with several of my colleagues that are on the conference. even though this wing has had more nautical miles of military training than any other unit in the air national guard, even though it's closer to proximity to its flying range, its bombing range than any other unit, it's the best setup in all of north america to have the 188th where it is located in fort
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smith and at fort chafee, which is the army national guard, basically their national training center right there. they train with a.t.m.'s. close air vehicles here. i don't think the air force took that into consideration for one minute. i think they made an arbitrary decision here. i don't think it's in our national interests. i don't think it's in the interests of our national security. and i'm just putting people on notice that this fight isn't over. i understand about the downward pressure. i get all that stuff, but this fight is not over, but i'm not going to object to this bill today. i am going to vote for its passage. again, i want to thank the chairman and the ranking member for their great leadership on this. thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: i thank the senator from arkansas for his enormous contributions to the deliberations and work of our committee, and i understand the frustration that he feels, and we have promised -- senator
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levin and i have promised a number of members on both sides of the capitol that we will have extensive hearings on this whole issue of guard-air force relationships and force structure for the 21st century, and we appreciate his commitment to his outstanding members of the guard. mr. president, i know that many of our colleagues are eager for us to finish up here, so i will ask that my statement be made a part of the record so they can peruse it at their leisure. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: mr. president, could i also with great reluctance thank our staff that have done such a wonderful job. they really have done great. as i said, i'm very reluctant to admit it, but we couldn't have done this work without their hard work, and i have the names of the -- of those individuals on both sides that would be
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included in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: with that, mr. president, i yield the balance of our time. mr. levin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: let me thank senator pryor for his precontributions to this bill and to this body. the fight that he is waging here is the correct fight. this was not done well by the air force, to put it mildly. we froze it, they amended it. we had some problems with the amendment, but we had to reach a compromise with the house which favored their modified bill, and there were some rough edges to it. the senator from arkansas has very eloquently pointed out one of those rough edges be put in place in this bill, a commission to try to avoid these kind of problems in the future. that doesn't help this year, i wish it could, but nonetheless it's because of the efforts of the senators who pointed out the defects in the process this year that we are hopefully able to avoid a repetition.
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i want to thank him for the many, many contributions he has made to this bill, his passionate and effective fight, and i commend him for it. i yield back any time if i have a balance. the presiding officer: all time is yielded back. the question is on adoption of the conference report. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. there is a sufficient second. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? hearing none, the ayes are 14 -- 81 -- 81. the nays are 14. the conference report is agreed to. mr. reid: mr. president?
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the presiding officer: the leader. mr. reid: i have a -- we have two votes. if everyone could just be patient. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that at a time to be determined by me, a of consultation with senator mcconnell, the senate proceed to the cloture vote with respect to the substitute amendment h.r. 1, that if cloture is not invoked, the majority leader be recognized; that if cloture is invoked, senator toomey or a designee be he canned are for the purpose -- be recognized for the purpose of raising a point of order against the amendment. if a point of order is raised, senator leahy or a designee be recognized to waive the point of order, that there be up to ten minutes of debate, that no other budget points of order be in order to the substitute or the underlying bill. further, that notwithstanding rule 22, the following amendments be the senate will come to order, cardin, grassley, feinstein 3421, as modified, harkin 3426, landrieu 3415, leahy, 3403, mccain 3484, as
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modified, bingaman 3444, coburn 3369, coburn 3770, as modified, the two divisions, coburn 3371, coburn 3382, coburn 3383, tester 3350, paul 3376, paul 3410, mccain 335, merkley 3367, leigh 3373, coats 3391, that no amendments -- yes, leigh as lei. that is 3367 as modified, 3373 as modified. that no amendments be in order to any of these amendments fryer votes in relation to the aims, that the amendments be subject to a 60-affirmative vote threshold, this athere object 30 minutes of debate equally
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divided in the usually form, with the exception to l following, 20 minutes on the coburn amendments, one hour equally divided on coats amendment. the senate proceed to votes in relation to the amendments in the order listed. there be two minutes of debate equally divided between the votes. all after the first vote be 10 minutes votes. upon disposition of the pending amendments listed, the senate proceed to vote in relation to the pending substitute amendment as amed, if amended, upon disposition of the substitute, the cloture vote be withdrawn, the bill be read a third time and the senate proceed to vote on passage of h.r. 1, if amended. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. leahy: if i might on that, there -- you indicated that -- the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: it indicates when we have a point of order that i
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-- i or my designee be recognized, as the distinguished senior senator from maryland, the chair of the appropriations committee, is here, so i would name her as my designee. the presiding officer: okay. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the substitute amendment number 3395 to h.r. 1, an act making appropriations for the department of defense and other departments and agencies of the government, for fiscal year ending september 30, 2011, signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on amendment number 3395 offered by
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the senator from nevada, mr. reid, to h.r. 1, an act making appropriations for the department of defense and the other departments and agencies of the government for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2011, and for other purposes shall be brought to a close? mr. reid: mr. president? mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that this vote be ten minutes, as is the next vote be ten minutes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or change his or her vote? hearing none, on this vote the yeas are 91 and the nays are 1. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. order, please. the leader. mr. reid: mr. president, we have a lot more work to do. this will be the last vote of the day. the one coming up.
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the clerk will report the pending business. the clerk: an act making appropriations and so forth and for other purposes. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. a senator: i rise to make a point of order against a very small segment this have bill, and ao*eurd like to yield myself some time to discuss that at this time. the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: mr. president, pursuant to section 904 of the congressional budget act of 1974, i move to waive the applicable sections of that act, and i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. there is. ms. mikulski: mr. president. the presiding officer: under the previous order there will be ten minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to the motion to waive. ms. mikulski: mr. president, i
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understand that the gentleman from the other side of the aisle wishes to speak. i just needed to essentially parliamentarily object to his point of order. and i do this because i know that his intent is indeed well-intentioned. mr. president, the senate is not in order. this is an important precedent that could be set, and i would really like members not to talk. the presiding officer: would members please take their conversations out of the chamber if they wish to talk. and if not, could they be quiet. ms. mikulski: mr. president, i want more than to be quiet. we're talking about a precedent in the senate. so i really would like please if senators could take their conversations either in the back or off the floor. the presiding officer: yes. okay, senators could be quiet and listen.
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and if you must talk, could you do it off the floor. thank you. the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: mr. president, the reason i'm so insistent is, one, the decorum in the senate. and second, this is a dangerous precedent. if this point of order is sustained it will mean $3.4 billion of urgent disaster relief in this supplemental has to be offset in future appropriations bills. this will mean real consequences this year. in a $1 trillion budget and the way we talk about money, $3.4 billion might not seem a lot, but it does mean a lot in disaster assistance and it does mean a lot to the appropriations committee. this is $3.4 billion unspecified cut that will go to domestic programs for fiscal year 2013. i want to remind my colleagues we're in a six-month c.r. now, so this means right in the middle of a c.r. until march, we have to take out an additional
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$3.4 billion. this will have a terrible impact on domestic programs, and it's a dangerous precedent. we've never offset disaster assistance, and i would urge the adoption of my amendment -- my position and yield to the gentleman from new york whose community is suffering and who has done an able job in helping manage this bill. the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: first, i want to thank my colleague from pennsylvania. he didn't try to knock out the whole thing, and we appreciate that. having said that, i would just urge any of my colleagues in disaster areas to think very carefully before they vote for this. this will be the first time ever when a disaster isn't declared that we have offset money for it. that will mean that disaster money will be much less ready available in the future. the precedent is an awful one. it is something that goes against 100 years of democrats,
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republicans, north, east, south and west voting when one area has trouble to send the money without spending months and months and months fighting about whether to cut this or cut that or raise these taxes or do this to offset it. and i would say we had this fight when irene came about, and 19 of our colleagues came to the wisdom that it was a bad idea to offset it, and we didn't. so i would urge and plead with my colleagues on this quick notice to reverse 100 years of decision making and start invoking offsets for disaster, which this is -- it's mitigation. we have always done mitigation. it means that instead of rebuilding in the floodplain, you build in a different place nearby. it means instead of putting all these machines that are flooded in the basement, you put them on the third floor. it means if there is a beach that's not protected, you build a burm.
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that's mitigation. it's all related to protecting from a disaster but not making the same mistake in building in a floodplain or not protecting a subway or whatever. we've always done it and never offset it. we have never offset mitigation, and it's been in every disaster relief. so i plead with my colleagues to think twice and yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: i have a different plea for my colleagues and that is to sustain this point of order, acknowledging it does not cut one dime expend tpr-g this supplemental. if my budget point of order is sustained, every single dime that if it were eventually passed, every dime allocated for future mitigation would in fact be spent for future mitigation. the question before us is when we're running $1 trillion deficits, must we really add another $60 billion on top of that deficit? so what i've done is i've looked
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at this bill and there's many parts that are not directly in aid of any of the victims of sandy. look, my state was hit by that storm, not nearly as bad as new york, new jersey and connecticut and some others, but there are real victims of this storm. there are genuine needs and we need to fund those needs. and i'm in favor of making sure we do fund the needs that we have. but we've got a category of spending that is going out for construction for years to come to mitigate against dangers of future storms in future years and future decades. that might be very wise. that might be a very appropriate spending. but it's not an emergency. this is not sandbags around someone's house who is in danger of a storm. and that kind of infrastructure spending is the kind of spending we do routinely but we plan for it and we budget it. and if it is indeed the priority that many people, probably including myself, believe it is, then it ought to be weighed in
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competition of the other pressing needs and we ought to plan for it and budget for it, and that's all i'm asking. so is this budget point of order does not cut one dime of spending from this bill. it simply says that the $3.4 billion that are identified for the construction of future mitigation projects would count towards the discretionary spending cap that we have in place. unfortunately, our deficit would grow if all else stays the same, but at least not by that $3.4 billion. that part would eventually have to be offset with some modest restraint on discretionary spending at some point. i but i would stress that there's not a dime that would be cut by this bill by virtue of this point of order and it would establish that going forward, hopefully when we're doing long-term construction projects for future mitigation, we would consider them in the context of the infrastructure spending that they are. and so for that reason, mr. president, pursuant to section 314-e-1 of the
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congressional budget act of 19 1974, i raise a point of order against the emergency designation in the appropriation for the army corps of engineers construction contained in title 4 of the substitute amendment, and i yield the balance of my time. ms. mikulski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: mr. president, pursuant to section 904 of the congressional budget act of 19 1974, i move to waive the applicable section of that act, and i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: without objection. is there a sufficient second? there is. the question's on the motion to waive. the yeas and nays have been ordered. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: has
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every member voted? does any member wish to change his or he had vote? ogee this vote, the yeas 57, the nays are 34. three-fifths duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to the emergency designation is removed. ms. mikulski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: mr. president, i know the hour is late and there are members that want to go ho home. we've been through an emotional roller coaster here in the united states senate, and has the nation. you know, one week ago we saw this terrible, horrific shooting in connecticut. while the nation mourned what happened there, we mourned here in the senate because of the passing of senator inouye, and yet the work of senator inouye went on through the urgent supplemental, and i'd like to thank the gentleman from new york for helping with the
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management of this bill, as well as the senator from vermont, who also did. and i also want to pay -- and senator landrieu, who, as the chair of the homeland security, have all done good jobs. but we senators know that we're only as good as our staff. and as the inouye era goes through its transition, i would like to thank the inouye staff. first of all, for everything they've done on this bill. i would like to thank the inouye staff for all they did in staffing truly one of the great icons in the united states senate. now, don't think the inouye staff is going to go away under barbara mikulski. but i want to publicly thank all of them in behalf of all of you, that they held their own emotions in control so we could move forward with the senate business. that is what professional staff is. they are the highest and the
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best of the best. i think the senate owes them a debt of gratitude. now i know that i will lean on them -- be back here on thursday to move this bill in a regular order. i say, god bless senator inouye and all that he meant to america. and god bless the staff that has helped him be one of the greatest snoring senators in amn history. mrs. hutchison: mr. president? the presiding officer: the is now from texas. mrs. hutchison: would the gentlelady yield? mrs. hutchison: mr. president, is wish to say that we all will miss senator inouye. he was one of the most loved people that has ever served in this united states senate. but i also want to say that we have passed on now and will take the bill in its entirety later, bubut because of the leadershipf senator mikulski and many others
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working together, we now have a start on the supplemental appropriations. we have worked in the senate together to accommodate the concerns of many on our side about that bill, and we have now had a say, and i think there will be an overwhelming support now for going forward, and i think that is due to the ability of senator mikulski to step up to the plate and become the first woman chairman of the appropriations committee in the history of the united states senate, and she's already shown the leadership that will continue in her tenure as chairman. i have worked with her as the ranking member of the subcommittee this last year on aeption pros. she's been chair, i've been the ranking member. and i will say that we have worked out every time we have had a disagreement, it has been
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worked out and we have passed our bills, our legislation. and that's what's going to happen next year as she becomes the chairman of appropriations, and i think it is a good day for the united states senate. thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. schumer: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: first, i want to congratulate senator mikulski on a fine first day on the floor as chair of the appropriations. we're all excited about it on both sides of the aisle and expect great things of that committee next year and perhaps it'll be a change, we'll get appropriations bills done, get them on the floor, move them under her leadership. i also want to thank senator landrieu, who is not here, who really helped out as well, as well as senator murray, senator
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feinstein, senator -- one other subcommittee -- murray, feinstein -- landrieu, right. i thank them very much and the staff who really is just professional. we have some -- in england they have a civil service, and it's the highest calling, and it's professional whoever is in charge and does a great job. you are our english civil service, which is a very high compliment. with that, i yield the floor and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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